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Dear #Positivity Friends,

When the dog days of summer arrive, you know it. These are the scorchers that make you want to crank up the AC and move around as little as possible or just hunt down a little sliver of shade under a tree where you can get some relief. I had never even thought about what part a dog plays in the “dog days” until my family got a dog last year. Now when I watch him flop down from the heat and give me a look that says, “Don’t bother me, man—it’s HOT out here,” I think, oh, this is a dog day!

It turns out that actual dogs have nothing to do with the phrase “dog days of summer.” The ancient Romans referred to the short, hot period when Sirius (a.k.a., the dog star) appears in the sky before the sun in the morning (late July through the middle of August) as “dies caniculares” or “days of the dog star,” which eventually became known as “dog days.” Sirius—the brightest star in the night sky—gets its nickname due to its prominence in the constellation Canis Major. I believe that makes it the Top Dog in the “Greater Dog” constellation—no small distinction! 

We all have to power through the same steamy, waning days of summer. Do yourself (and your pooch, if you have one) a favor and find a cool spot to ride out these dog days. Before you know it you’ll be pulling out a sweater to comfort you on the first chilly September morning!

As always, I hope that you are enjoying my newsletter. If you missed an issue, you can find them all on my website. Pass this newsletter along and encourage your family and friends to sign up!

With hope and positivity,

#Positivity® Stories

Glass Road

Road repair usually takes months or even years to complete, much to the dismay of commuters, road trippers, and commercial haulers. One day this June, the driver of a tanker full of gasoline lost control of his vehicle exiting a northbound section of highway I-95 in Philadelphia. His truck overturned and caught fire under an overpass, leading to the collapse of the roadway and stranding thousands of motorists for hours. Just 12 days later the 9 miles of highway that had been closed in both directions was reopened to traffic. This miracle was accomplished thanks to the 24/7 work of demolition and construction crews and modern American ingenuity. Crews used 2,000 tons of recycled foam-and-glass nuggets to fill in the collapsed area, allowing it to be paved over and opened to drivers in a stunningly short period of time. AeroAggregates of North America produces the lightweight nuggets in nearby Eddystone, Pennsylvania. Since 2017, the company’s product has been approved for use by 23 state transportation departments around the country. The estimated 37 million drivers who travel this stretch of Pennsylvania road every year salute you!

Elephant Yoga

How do you get an elephant to show its underside? Teach it yoga! The Houston Zoo uses this unique routine with their elephants to keep them flexible and engage their brains. Just minutes of stretching every day is all it takes—along with a few treats—to keep the elephants healthy and happy. Elephant keepers also get the opportunity to see the elephants’ entire bodies and check their range of motion during the sessions and alert the staff veterinarians if anything seems off. Kristin Windles, the Houston Zoo elephant supervisor says, “Cultivating strong, positive relationships with our elephants is critical to providing them with the best healthcare to ensure their well-being is put first.”

A Port in the Storm

It’s a vacationer’s worst nightmare—stuck in an unfamiliar place with nowhere to stay and knowing not a soul who can help. A group of 10 travelers visiting historic Port Townsend, Washington met this fate when the ferry back to the island where they were staying was cancelled due to bad weather. It was the peak of the summer tourist season and there were zero overnight accommodations available in the area—no hotels, no Airbnbs, no bed-and-breakfasts. Dreading spending the night in the ferry terminal, passengers were overcome with gratitude when 47-year-old ferry employee BG Patterson invited them to bunk at his house. Patterson and his wife Arianna opened their home—beds, sofas, and floors—to the group. They had been foster parents to several children over the years so they knew how to accommodate a crowd in their small home. The next morning, BG handed out coffee and pastries to his erstwhile guests before shuttling them back to the ferry terminal. Fred Dente, one of the stranded travelers, said, “It was unbelievable. It was the way humans should treat humans. In this day and age, it was exceptional.”

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The Book of Charlie by David Von Drehle

When Washington journalist David Von Drehle moved to Kansas, he wasn’t expecting to find the story of lifetime there. But that’s what happened when he met his 109-year-old neighbor Charlie White. Imagine navigating a century of change and upheaval in the worlds of politics, finance, technology, and more. Over the years of their friendship, Charlie recounted his adventures, heartaches, and triumphs and captivated Von Drehle, who shares these stories in The Book of Charlie. This is the tale of a country undergoing constant transformation as much as it is an unforgettable picture of his friend’s remarkable life. It’s a good one—read it!

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Spreading #Positivity®

Thank you, readers, for sending us your photos with your comments. We are so excited that you are helping spread a positive message everywhere you go! Let’s keep spreading #Positivity® together! Send us your photos and stories to [email protected] and include your name and social media handle. We will feature them in the next newsletter and on Facebook!

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